Child support is understandably one of the most contentious elements of divorce. Parents who receive child support often feel as though the funds are insufficient for the needs of the children, or fear they will struggle to provide if the paying parent fails to meet his or her obligations. For the parent who is responsible for making child support payments, he or she often worries that the children’s needs are being neglected while the receiving parent buys things for themself.
Illinois law allows parents receiving child support wide leeway when deciding how to spend the money. Unfortunately, however, there are parents who neglect their children’s needs because of frivolous spending on themselves. In situations like this, legal remedies are available.
Legitimate Child Support Expenditures
Child support is intended to ensure children have what they need to grow up healthy and whole, and the parent who receives child support is responsible for using that money to meet the child’s needs. Food, clothing, and medical expenses are absolute necessities and the failure to provide these can result in serious harm to a child’s wellbeing.
However, parents are allowed wide discretion in determining what other things they will spend the money on. Vacations, a new car, or nice-to-have but unnecessary household items are things that arguably benefit a parent more than a child. Nevertheless, if the child’s needs are met, these expenditures do not necessarily pose a problem, even if the parent making child support payments is suspicious about their true purpose.
Child Abuse or Neglect
If a parent is truly failing to meet the needs of a child in a way that is abusive or neglectful, the other parent may be able to request a change in custody arrangements or child support payments. But changing the allocation of parental responsibilities, parenting time, and child support is likely to be a contentious issue; if a parent is not acting in a child’s best interests, he or she is unlikely to want to bring that to light in court. Having an experienced family law attorney to help guide you through the process of petitioning for a change in childcare arrangements is important for achieving a favorable outcome.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Wheaton, IL Child Support Lawyer
At Andrew Cores Family Law Group, we understand how frustrating it can be to feel that you are making child support payments to a parent who fails to meet your expectations about how the funds should be spent. We will work with you to establish whether you have a case for legal action, and, if so, advocate assertively to pursue an outcome that is in your child’s best interests. To get more information, schedule a confidential consultation with a DuPage County child support attorney by calling our offices today at 630-871-1002.